Après ski – - > PROHIBITION PIG in Waterbury, VT

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The past few times I’ve skied at Sugarbush, we’ve stopped at Prohibition Pig (in the former spot of The Alchemist) in Waterbury, VT on the way home. Sometimes I get a beer, other times a hot toddy. (The one above had ginger, honey, and turmeric!) More importantly, I ALWAYS get the same meal. I discovered the absolute best brisket sandwich of-all-time: slow-cooked brisket with bacon BBQ sauce, crispy onions, and a pickle topped on a toasted bun. I also order a side of roasted Brussels sprouts. Done! It’s my perfect meal.

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Great ICE 2014: NORTH HERO–> KNIGHT ISLAND (or when I walked four miles on a frozen lake…)

Great Ice 2014

My friends Amanda and Brian sent an e-mail over the weekend seeing if anyone wanted to check out North Hero’s Great Ice festival.

Anyone up for an adventure this weekend in the snow?

On Sunday It would be fun to go to Grand Isle/North Hero area as they are having the “Great Ice” event this weekend.  They have a pancake breakfast at 8am at North Hero House and then around 9am a walk out on the ice to Knight Island (boots or snowshoes I don’t know!?) They won’t know if the ice is good until a check Sunday morning however so it could be a wash and a new plan would be needed…but hey it would be early!!!

Let me know if the Sunday idea or another snowy adventure strikes you!
Best,
Amanda

Seeing as how I’ve never walked more than about 10 inches from land on Lake Champlain during the winter, I thought it might be cool (yet kind of scary…) to go walk to an island off an island on the lake.

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We got there early for the flapjack breakfast at the General Store – isn’t it adorable?! – and it was fabulous. Blueberry and regular pancakes, ham, bacon, and sausage. Coffee, juice, hot chocolate, and maple syrup.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014

Across the street from the General Store was access to the lake. The town had plowed a 2 mile path to Knight Island. WILD!

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Great Ice 2014Great Ice 2014

That’s me freaking out about being in the middle of a frozen lake!

Great Ice 2014

Ice fisherman drilling their hole!

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Great Ice 2014Great Ice 2014Great Ice 2014

The ranger on Knight Island had a fire and hot chocolate for us. We chatted for a while, then walked around the island.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014Great Ice 2014

We saw lots of tracks. I think the large tracks are moose? Maybe?

Then we walked back across the lake. The ice’s color is like pitch black.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014

We returned and the Christmas Tree bonfire was in full force, and I won’t lie, I wondered if it would melt into the lake. It didn’t.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014

They had a chili cook-off, hockey, ice skating, and bike riding on the ice.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014

There was a lot of other things happening on the islands, as well. We stopped by two wineries, both of which also had a lot of delicious dessert pairings: cupcakes, apple cider chocolate caramels, and chocolate hearts.

Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
Great Ice 2014
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All in all, this was an awesome Sunday. We didn’t really know what to expect, and this exceeded all our expectations. We want to visit more winter festivals outside Burlington!

Posted in LIFE, OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, VERMONT, WEEKEND | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

LATEST YOUTUBE OBSESSION: Olympic Training Videos.

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Are you watching the Olympics?! I got a digital antenna, so I can pick up NBC (Olympics!), CBS, FOX, and like five PBS stations. I’ve been binge-watching the Games at night, which then leads me to YouTube stalking the athletes on my iPad.

Their core stability is phenomenal.

P.S. We ended up having gorgeous weather in Vermont! Cold, but clear. I had some work things, but I got out for some downhill skiing on Saturday and walked to an island off an island on a frozen Lake Champlain on Sunday. I took that first picture at a General Store out on North Hero Island. Cute, huh!

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WHAT’S IN UVM’S VARSITY GYM REFRIGERATOR.

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Last night I had my weights class, which is in the varsity gym at UVM. Workout above. (I started off doing the squats all wrong, thinking it was 3 sets of 5 instead of 5 sets of 3, but I worked up to 100 lbs on the last few sets, did 35 lbs on the kettlebell swings, and went for the box jump step-up/push press with the 45 lb bar combo.) Anyway, the class is pretty crowded, so I had my things over near the refrigerator. I’ve never actually looked inside it, but I was curious as to what food the coaches and athletes keep stocked. Our coach is a former professional football player and ripped.

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Some kind of Gatorade looking pitcher, cartons of almond milk, chocolate milk, and a giant container of what looked like a healthified chicken salad. They eat pretty clean!

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WEEKEND @ HOME: Cleaning out my closet.

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I did my regular weekend things – went out to eat (American Flatbread for pizza), worked out (swimming + weights), chatted with friends in Japan, made chili, and watched the Superbowl (the most interesting thing about the game from my non-football watching perspective was the fact that Anthony Kiedis is still jumping around and shirtless at an age-defying 51 years old….he SWIMS.) – but I also cleaned out my closet and got into reading about capsule wardrobes. Did you know that most people only wear 20% of their wardrobe?

This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I discovered this gem of a blog, Into-Mind, which is like a vault of knowledge on curating your own closet. I have been texting my friends and family links to it all day. Like….

Wardrobe Building for Beginners: A Starter Kit
Upgrade your Wardrobe in 30 Minutes a Day: A 2-Week Programme
Colour Analysis Part I: Finding your Type (I think I’m either Warm Spring or some Autumn…?)
Mood Boards
Uniforms: Creating a Signature Look
20 Pieces 20 Outfits – Winter Edition
20 Pieces 20 Outfits – Fall Edition
Method Dressing: Adding and Subtracting
Spring Cleaning: Wardrobe Detox

I also found YouTube videos on 10-item closets from The Daily Connoisseur, who studied abroad in Paris and found her chic host mother only kept ten quality items in her closet at all times.

And then there’s the uber-chic, Wide-Eyed Legless, who is doing a series on The Perfect Wardrobe.

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The Perfect Wardrobe/02
The Perfect Wardrobe/03

All said, mine still has a ways to go…..

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Still too much stuff, but is it enough of the right stuff? Right now, I’m still “Japan-poor” so in the name of Tim Gunn, I’m going to ‘make it work!’

 

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WINTERFEST MUG//HEADY TOPPER LOOK-A-LIKE

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UVM’s very popular Winterfest 2014 mug, which is a knock-off of Heady Topper’s beer can. They’ve been giving out 75 on-the-hour all week, filled with your choice of coffee or hot chocolate, and I managed to snag TWO!

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READ THIS! ELEANOR + PARK.

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READ THIS! ELEANOR + PARK

By Rainbow Rowell

I’ve mentioned this before, but since most of the US (and Japan) is in the midst of a frozen Polar Vortex, I’m thinking a few of you might be looking for a good book. Ding ding! I’ve got one.

A few keywords.

THE 1980s. Protagonist with red curly hair. Cross-cultural relationships. Comic books. Walkmans.

And maybe it’s because I too have big, curly red hair and spent some time in Asia (at one point I had a crush on a science teacher that I would call Earth Science-sensei) and had a deep love for my walkmans as a child of the 80s – but this book touched my heart.

I haven’t done a lot of reading compared to other years,  save for some New Adult iPad smut which I really should write about sometime except they are usually so stupid and embarrassing, but after a year sans English bookstores I really wanted to buy a real book with real pages and I wanted my friends to also read it, so you know, we could talk about it together. I heard some amazing things about Eleanor + Park, so I placed my bets on THAT book and blindly bought four copies at Barnes & Noble to take to my friends in Louisiana during the fall. [NOTE: I’m sure even the clerk thought, “Why isn’t she buying these online?” But I was impatient and also just wanted to relish in being in a two-story bookstore where I could read 99 percent of the items in it.]

When I had flight delays because of fog flying from Vermont to DC and had to take a detour to Texas en route to New Orleans, I was glad that I had placed my bets on this book!

THE GIST:

The book alternates chapters between Eleanor and Park, two teens attending the same high school in Nebraska in the late 1980s. At first we don’t know much about Eleanor, other than she is on the bus to a new school, has big red hair, is a little larger than other high school girls, wears unusual clothes, and NO ONE wants to let her sit with them.

Park begrudgingly scoots over and lets her sit next to him.

Eventually she starts reading over his shoulder at his comic books.

Eventually they become friends.

Eventually they become more than friends.

And then eventually life outside their mini-cocoon on the bus seat catches up with them. Eleanor comes from one of the most dysfunctional families I’ve ever read about (think Glass Castle kind of crazy). I texted my friends numerous times how furious her mother made me. Park has some of the coolest parents ever, but it’s not always so carefree. He’s learning how to define his own identity, even it that means it upsets his dad or scribbles outside the defined social lines of high school.

LOVE FACTOR: 9/10

HOT! This story about first love – which isn’t an easy ride, especially since it’s pre-cell phone days and dealing with abusive families and multi-cultural relationships and school bullies – is written so f*cking well that you won’t want to move from your chair/bar stool/bed until you finish it out. WELL DONE RAINBOW ROWELL.

GREAT LINES:

“Eleanor was right: She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

No trilogy or on-going series here. It’s a stand-alone book, but I am excited to read more from Rainbow Rowell. I hear good things about Fangirl.

P.S. My friend Liz tells me I must read Jellicoe Road next.

P.P.S. Want a super-easy, super-sexy, super-smutty winter read? Full of internet porn revenge bullying and hot phone sex? I just finished this.

Posted in GOOD READS | 11 Comments